Tubal Ligation Surgery
How to Have Essure Sterilization Reversed
Essure is a form of permanent, non-hormonal birth control. Having Essure removed can be difficult depending on how long the device has been in place and other medical factors. It's therefore important to have a thorough conversation with your doctor and know the different types of removal procedures before you get the device removed.
Preparing for Essure Removal
Speak to your doctor.You should speak with your doctor about why you want to have Essure removed. This will help the two of you come up with a plan for dealing with your concerns.
- If you want Essure removed because you want to get pregnant again, your doctor might suggest trying in vitro fertilization without removing the Essure device. You should discuss this thoroughly with your doctor, because it's not clear what the chances are of getting pregnant using this method.
- If you want Essure removed because you're concerned about the side effects you’re experiencing, you should ask your doctor to run tests to ensure that any pain or discomfort you’re feeling is because of the Essure coils. The most common side effects of Essure are pelvic pain, heavy bleeding, and cramps, but these could be symptoms of other issues, too.
Ask for a referral.Once you decide to have Essure removed, you need to find someone to perform the procedure. Not all doctors perform this type of procedure themselves, but they can often give you a referral to someone who does.
- Make sure the doctor you are referred to has experience with removing Essure. If your doctor can't give you a referral, you can research doctors and clinics that do using a Google search. Make sure any doctor you choose is certified for this type of procedure and has good reviews.
Know the cost.The exact cost of an Essure removal will vary depending on the procedure and the doctor performing it, but the average cost of Essure removal runs between 00 and 00.
- Your insurance may or may not cover the procedure, so you should find out before you make an appointment.
- Some clinics and doctors offer payment plans for the cost of the procedure. You should discuss these options with the surgeon (or surgeons) you are interested in before you schedule the procedure.
Time your procedure.For the easiest removal, you should schedule your procedure within three months of having Essure inserted. It takes about three months for scar tissue to fully form around the inserts and totally block the fallopian tubes. Getting Essure removed before this process is totally complete will be much easier - and therefore cost you less.
- The Essure removal itself usually takes about 90 minutes and is often performed as an outpatient procedure. However, different doctors will use different procedures for removal, and the type used will depend on a lot of different factors, including how long it's been implanted.
Ask your doctor to image your uterus.Ensure removal carries risks, and doing this - and thus locating the coils - before the procedure can help avoid complications. The makers of Essure recommend doctors perform this imaging to prevent post-removal complications.
Undergo a salpingectomy.This procedure allows the surgeon to remove the Essure birth control without removing the entire fallopian tube. The surgeon will cut a small slit in the fallopian tubes in order to access the coils and remove them. This is the procedure for removal recommended by the makes of Essure.
- Make sure your doctor has experience with this particular procedure, because it requires making a slit in the fallopian tube. Not every doctor has experience doing this so you want to be sure your doctor knows what they’re doing.
- A salpingostomy is NOT the same thing as a salpingectomy, which is the complete removal of the fallopian tubes. Make sure you are clear about the type of procedure you are interested in.
Undergo a hysterectomy.In some cases, a complete hysterectomy – the removal of uterus, fallopian tubes, and cervix – might be required. This is not the only way to have Essure removed, but certain mitigating circumstances might require it.
- Hysterectomies can cause other types of medical issues, including pelvic organ prolapse, which occurs when organs sink into the vagina because the uterus is not there to provide a barrier.
- This is something you should discuss in great detail with your doctor. If your doctor immediately suggests a hysterectomy, you might want to get a second opinion.
Undergo uterine preserving surgery.This type of procedure requires that the surgeon dissect the fallopian tubes, remove the Essure coils, and reconnect the tubes to the uterus. This procedure allows most women to conceive naturally after the removal.
- Because this procedure requires cutting a hole into the uterus to reattach the fallopian tubes, it can be dangerous for women who want to conceive. In some cases, the hole in the uterus can cause the uterus to rupture during pregnancy, which can be fatal to both mother and baby.
Dealing with Complications after Essure Removal
Be aware of the risks of Essure removal.It is possible for Essure coils to break while they are being removed. If this occurs, you may end up with pieces of the coils still in your body, which is very dangerous and can lead to similar - or worse - symptoms than having the Essure in place. Hence, it is important to have your uterus imaged before any procedure and to find a doctor who has experience with Essure removal.
Know how having Essure removed affects pregnancy.Having your Essure birth control removed doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get pregnant and there can be issues if you do become pregnant after Essure.
- Most studies put the chance for pregnancy after Essure removal between 30 and 40%.This in comparison to about an 80% chance of conceiving after ceasing hormonal birth control, although age also factors into that percentage.
- Women with the best chance of getting pregnant after having Essure removed are those that have never had any other kind of surgery on their uterus or tubes.
- If your Essure birth control moves too far into the uterine wall (part of the coil actually protrudes into the uterus) it can cause issues with pregnancy later on. You should discuss these situations with your surgeon after Essure is removed.
Give yourself time to heal.The amount of time it takes you to heal depends on the type of procedure used to remove your Essure birth control. Listening to your body is the best way to avoid prolonging your recovery time.
- Women who undergo outpatient procedures should feel relief within days. Most women recover within two weeks.
- Women who undergo more serious surgery, including hysterectomy, will have a much longer period of recovery.
Video: Essure Tubal Sterilization / Alynn Alexander, MD
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